Victoria Bailey’s brand-new single, “Queen of the Rodeo,” is as shiny-sequined as the rodeo queens she sings about. The song is as classic country as it gets, and Bailey’s twangy musical treat is top-notch. While the song is a tribute to rodeo queens everywhere, it’s also a perfect example of the old-timey, sparkly magic that has become the trademark of Bailey’s music.
Vents Magazine sat down with Bailey to talk about her new single, and we took a deep dive into the song, its inspiration, and the wonderful rodeo tradition. We chatted about Bailey’s sound, the thrill of playing live again, and what’s next for this extra-special artist.
Hi Victoria, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?
Hi guys! Thanks so much for chatting with me! I’m doing great… keeping my head up during this wild time in the world and snuggling close to family and friends and horses. I’m also looking forward to a lot of fun shows coming up, and I am so excited about the release of my song, “Queen of the Rodeo.”
Speaking of your new single, “Queen of the Rodeo,” it is really special and caught my attention right away. It’s a great listen. Can you talk to us more about this song? How did you come to write and record it? What was the inspiration behind it?
Thank you so much, that means A LOT. This song blossomed from a real life story of me running into a rodeo queen at a security check-in at the airport. I was super starstruck by her (ha ha) and I felt like I was truly in the presence of cowgirl royalty. I knew instantly I wanted to write a song about her and about all of the other rodeo queens decked out in sparkly suits, preserving a really special tradition.
How was the recording and writing process for that song?
The song came to fruition pretty naturally and was just really fun to write. I was able to go back into the studio in the beginning of the year and record it with a group of my favorite musicians. I also had my friend Jeremy Long send in a pedal steel track towards the end, which is always my favorite country-and-western sprinkle on any song.
Your lyrics are top-notch, and you are a real wordsmith. Do you have a favorite lyric line or two in this song? What about those words really works for you or speaks to you?
WOW… thank you!!!!! I think my favorite line in the song is, “She gets the crowd wrangled up before the big cowboy show.” I feel like this sums up how fun it is when the rodeo queens come out at the beginning of a rodeo. If you haven’t been, they ride around the arena to get fans in the stands wound up for the big show! It’s such a fun tradition and is my favorite part of being at the rodeo, besides the BBQ and giant cheap beers, of course!
What do you hope listeners get from hearing the song?
I really just wanted this song to feel super nostalgic and for it to be a feel-good tune. I hope it brings back memories for those who have grown up around rodeos or reminds you of grandpa’s old country records. This song is a nod to all the strong, horse-riding ladies!
Your sound mixes up Americana, a lot of classic country, folk, and tops it off with a modern sensibility, so the music sounds classic but also really fresh at the same time. Some of it’s gritty, some of it’s really dreamy, some is bittersweet or even melancholy. How did you settle upon the “Victoria Bailey” sound? And how would you describe your sound, using one sentence?
My music has always been a reflection of what’s happening in my life and the music I have fallen in love with. I’ve recorded a folk record with my dad, a children’s album, jazz songs, and now what feels closest to home, my first country record: “Jesus, Red, Wine & Patsy Cline.” All of those works are just pieces of me and how I feel that story is supposed to be heard through that “genre lens” and the instrumentals woven into it. I would describe my current sound as “classic California country” — inspired by the Bakersfield sound and growing up somewhere between the ocean and the desert.
You’ve been able to do some shows in recent months, which must be so exciting. What song has been the most fun to play live and why?
I have been super grateful to have been able to play live shows still. (Safely, of course). Playing “Queen of the Rodeo” has definitely been the most fun to play live, because it always feels the best to share something new. I’ve also loved revisiting the songs on my record. Since I released “Jesus, Red, Wine & Patsy Cline” during the pandemic, I didn’t really tour on those songs yet. So it has felt really good to perform those songs live after the year of the really beautiful support that has come from releasing this record.
What else is happening for you?
I just played at AmericanaFest in Nashville. It was a long-time dream to play at this festival, and I was beyond happy to return to one of my favorite cities in the world. I have a new record in its very beginning stages, and I’m looking forward to creating that soon!
Artist website: https://www.victoriabaileymusic.com/